Yorkshire And South-East SMEs Embracing International Trade

42 Per Cent Of UK SMEs Currently Ship Their Products Overseas


Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Yorkshire and the Humber and in the south-east of England are among those most likely to be embracing international trade, according to a new report.

Software company Citrix has carried out a survey to discover the export plans of small businesses in the UK, in which 2,000 SMEs were questioned.

It was found that 47 per cent of those based in the south-east of the country are currently selling their products abroad, while 43 per cent of Yorkshire and Humber firms are also getting involved in international trade.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, London came out on top, with 59 per cent of the capital's SMEs shipping their goods overseas, but the report's authors say it is encouraging that firms outside of the city are also embracing trade relationships with companies abroad.

The Telegraph quotes Andrew Millard of Citrix as saying: "The Yorkshire and Humber data shows that the emerging markets have an appetite to buy products made in Britain, which nods to the importance of continued investment in the UK manufacturing industry.

"The south-west is rooted in its traditions of maritime trade and confidence to explore opportunities in the emerging markets."

Citrix also found that Welsh SMEs and those based in the north-east are least likely to export their products abroad, with 28 per cent and 26 per cent saying they do so respectively.

In addition, small businesses in the south-east are anticipating a 27 per cent increase in revenue due to their international trade connections over the next two years, while 28 per cent of those based in the East Midlands also predicted this.

Altogether, it was found that 42 per cent of small firms in the UK are exporting their goods, with this figure expected to increase significantly by 2016, reaching around 60 per cent.

Furthermore, prime minister David Cameron has said he would like to see the country shipping £1 trillion worth of products overseas each year by 2020.

Expert Opinion
This research has provided a fascinating insight into the steps being taken by many small businesses to develop their offerings by considering the opportunities available to them in overseas markets. It is particularly clear that while SMEs in some areas are keen on exploring the potential for selling in other countries, others are choosing to keep their sights on domestic success.

"Regardless of their plans, it is vital that small businesses always recognise that they should not plan for their future alone. Getting advice from third parties with expertise in several key areas is vital and legal advice should be integral to the mix.

"Lawyers can provide advice on a range of issues vital to trading abroad and small businesses, which often do not have expertise or knowledge on such matters in-house, could benefit greatly from seeking their views."
Steven Beahan, Partner